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I had this Takara frameset around and was going to do something else with it but... Hey, it's got great clearance and tried to see what I could do with what I had.

 

Found the bike several years ago at a yard sale for $20. All the pieces I had around or bought for other reasons except the Tektro brake levers. Yeah, I need 'cross tires but it's still on the 27" wheels. The centerpulls offer tons of clearance and with the new Kool-Stop road pads it stops as good as any cantilevers.

 

I like the old-style of running the derailer cables ABOVE the bottom bracket. Wonder why it's not done now?

 

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How's it ride on dirt?
Not bad, actually. Will have to get some 'cross 27" tires to really try it out. But the front end geometry, if you looked at the pics, is a bit slow. I kept thinking I had the headset too tight for a bit. But for under $50 in the past 3 months (everything else I've had for longer than that) it's outstanding. Not toooo heavy, but not light either. I figure the frame is straight-guage tubing... maybe in the 24 lb range.
Steel is real, as they say.
still trying to get used to using the thumb shifters with drop bars. Hey, I had them from an old MTB and they work. And yeah, it's an old 27" wheelset with a 5-speed freewheel,14-34. All I can say is, it works well and it's a shame to swap it out just to roll something newer.
Nice ride, especially for the price. Don't see many Suntour parts still functioning. And you know you can do this right:

Yeah... how *did* you get the photos to pop in? I thought it'd work by using the "attachments" button.

Here's the front end:

Crossed the derailer cables out front, then back again along the downtube. Right-front brakes, probably will do this with the rest, as it causes less confusion when I do hop on the motorcycle.
hey that is a cool ride. very similar to my first cx bike with some original tri-cross 27" tires. is that a JIS headset frame? i eventually got cant braze-ons put on mine and swapped out the fork and today it's still one of my singlespeeds.

fyi, i once put the thumbs in the drops - worked pretty well for a bit. the deore dx had bendable mounts.

if you want more braking power, drop the straddle even more (if you swap to an adjustable length one).

rip it up and tell us how it rides! looking forward to seeing it with knobs.
Andrew - yes, it is a JIS headset. When I was installing a new headset I didn't think about it and couldn't get the bottom cup to seat. Sheldon Brown to the rescue, and then to the LBS for the correct one.

Will think about the thumb shifters in the drops. I've inherited a random bunch of them, so all's fair. Thanks, I hadn't thought of that.

I could swap the straddle cable for a "normal" one on the front brake but this one I kept because it seems to work well with Kool Stop salmon's up front - with the shorter one, the kool stops grabbed to the point of chatter/stutter. Was thinking about brazing canti posts on this but honestly, the centerpulls have PLENTY of clearance, both around the tire and for mud at the rims and they stop great so I can't think of a reason to change them.
UPDATE: Took it out on the mountain bike trail last night. Here's what I found:

GOOD:
- Centerpulls with Kool-Stop salmon road pads work GREAT. And the longer straddle cable actually improves brake operation. I know, sounds counter intuitive but it does. Compared to Canti's, I'd run the old centerpulls on every bike if I could. There is tons of clearance, both for tires and for mud at the rims. Stops just as well. Easier to set up.
- Faster than the full-boinger guys on hard pack, and can get away from them on the climbs. However they'd catch me at the root-y sections or rocks, because I can't just plow through them.

BAD:
- It's just the geometry of the bike. Too much fork rake I think, makes the front end feel too light. Washed out easily at times. And if I stood up and put my weight over the front to keep it down (like climbing on switchbacks) the back end would skate. Part of this is because I was running slicks (road tires) but I've done this course before on a different bike with Pasela's so I do have a baseline of what to expect with road tires. I REALLY want to love this bike, and maybe it'll work as a city bike but I just can't do it as a 'cross bike.
- Thumb Shifters on the bars. Great on road, but not always so great on the trails. I'd rather go back to bar-ends.

So... good experiment, and with a diferent frame I'd be set but this one isn't it.
Oh yeah - put a road triple on it and left it in the middle (40t) ring the whole time. Single ring setups, here I come.

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